The St. Francis Basic School Evolves
The establishment of Juba as a world capital had a number of consequences for the St. Francis Basic School in Juba. On the one hand, the many years of warfare and strife took their toll on the school's relationship with its home diocese of Ezo, and the school no longer maintained a relationship with Ezo. David Bako left the Episcopal church to join a new church, and we lost touch with him.
The school benefited from the building boom in Juba when an Ethiopian entrepreneur offered to replace the mud-brick buildings with a concrete two-story school in exchange for constructing commercial buildings along the very valuable road-front parcel. The new building has been an enormous improvement.
2013 Mission Trip to South Sudan
In 2013, our Rector, the Rev. Penny Bridges, accompanied by parishioners Stephanie Kendall and Virginia Carlson, visited South Sudan. They were able to spend time in Juba, visiting the St. Francis Basic School, where they met Simon Bonis, head of development for the school. Simon has since become our main contact person with the school.
Mother Penny, Stephanie, and Virginia also made the difficult trip to Ezo, which involved a plane flight to Yambio followed by a long trip over miles of unpaved roads. In visiting Ezo, Mother Penny and Stephanie and Virginia were able to establish a relationship with Bishop John, and his wife, Mama Nancy. In a country of extreme poverty, the people of Ezo Diocese are some of the poorest. Their lack of resources, their isolation and lack of reliable transportation, and brutal attacks by the Lord's Resistance Army have made life especially stressful and dangerous. Nonetheless, Bishop John leads a flock of dedicated Christians, and we continue to pray that their situation will improve.